America’s Jet Hits 12,000 Hours

The only F-15E Strike Eagle to record an air-to-air combat kill marked 12,000 flying hours at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia on Aug. 16, according to a press release. The jet, tail number 89-0487, is deployed from Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C. and is currently assigned to the 335th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. Commissioned in 1990 for service in Operation Desert Storm, where it struck an enemy helicopter with a GBU-10 laser-guided bomb, the aircraft earned the nicknamed “America’s Jet” by the crews who have serviced and flown it across its 26-year career. “All of our aircraft have different temperaments, so to speak, but America’s Jet consistently outperforms all of our other jets,” according to the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance superintendent. “We work hard to keep our aircraft in the air, so the 12,000 hour milestone is a testament to all of the maintainers who’ve kept her flying. That’s why we call her America’s Jet; because she is full of grit and fortitude, the embodiment of the American spirit, and has demonstrated this in every major conflict since Desert Storm.”